Ecstatic dance is a meditative and spiritual activity that uses the body’s physical movements to encourage clarity, inspiration, and creativity.
Dancer and philosopher Gabrielle Roth developed an approach to ecstatic dance’s mind-body healing called 5Rhythms.
5Rhythms, or the five states of being, can be experienced with Roth’s video, The Wave: Introductory Ecstatic Dance for Body and Soul (Sounds True).
What is Ecstatic Dance?
Ecstatic dance is a movement-based therapy that restores our vital energy to help in mind-body connections. It’s well-known as a form of active meditation and prayer. The music used is to alter brainwave patterns, which in turn has an impact on one’s mental and emotional states. Ecstatic dance is an experience that can be viewed as a form of guidance or healing through spiritual reconnection.
For Gabrielle Roth, dance is an ecstatic practice that anyone can do. It is a creative and high-energy experience that lends many people inspirations not experienced before.
Philosopher of Movement
Movement innovator Gabrielle Roth is a director of music and theatre, as well as the author of three books: Maps to Ecstasy, Sweat Your Prayers: The Five Rhythms of the Soul, and Connections. As a facilitator of workshops based on world music, theatre, and shamanism, Roth’s work and ideas have been highlighted in several magazines, including Yoga Journal, Self, and Science of Mind.
The 5Rhythms Healing Meditation Dance
Roth developed a unique movement philosophy called 5Rhythms. 5Rhythms is based on healing the mind creatively by putting the body in motion. The five rhythms, or states of being, and their meanings are:
- Flowing: This is the rhythm that reflects the path to one’s true self. When one’s physical body flows, so do other pathways.
- Staccato: This is the pathway to the heart. Staccato shows up in dance as truth and clarity and represents what one loves.
- Chaos: The rhythm that encourages one to leave the place of “I can’t” to the place of “I will,” chaos encourages presence and serves as the gateway to the mind that allows for freedom, intuition, and creativity.
- Lyrical: This is the rhythm that encourages integrity and dignity in one’s expression and everyday being.
- Stillness: All other rhythms converge to stillness. It is the rhythm that represents life’s accumulation of rhythm.
Roth has taught thousands of people all over the world her unique approach to ecstatic dance using 5Rhythms.
Ecstatic Dance Video: The 5 Universal Rhythms
The Wave: Introductory Ecstatic Dance for Body and Soul is an at-home workout video that focuses not on losing weight, but on embracing the body and spirit as is. The Wave is about tuning into the five universal rhythms and surrendering to one’s internal energy.
Available as a DVD or video download, Roth encourages all viewers of The Wave to invite improvisation into the dance routines. Calling it a “moving meditation,” Roth hopes to inspire, heal, and teach people using the 5Rhythms approach to ecstatic dance.
Watch Gabrielle Roth Demonstrate & Teach The Wave